The 2nd edition of SOFA – School of Film Agents has invited eight participants from
eight different countries having eight great projects in tow.
»AUR! Magazine – Awesome / Unique / Radical!«.
A high quality cinema print magazine for Polish film enthusiasts.
As experienced open-minded journalists regularly participating in international film festivals, Anna Bielak feel great urge to provide local professionals, other film critics, filmmakers and Polish viewers with the limitless possibility of experiencing international cinema that is more awesome, unique and radical than anything usually screened at local theaters. Having their own first truly independent Polish film magazine (complemented by a bi-lingual website), Anna Bielak and her colleague Urszula Lipińska intend to acknowledge both - the local and international market - with shooting stars in various cinematic fields. Seeking new talents and new films is their goal. AUR! Magazine aims to shape the taste of viewers and motivate them to search for cinematic pleasures beyond the footlights’ area crowded with established artists; thus broadening the cinematic horizons, going afar off predictability.
»Festivalized – Community Platform for Film Festival Guests«.
A film festival advisor system which helps filmmakers to find the right festivals for their projects.
Festival Advisor System is a service community web platform by Daazo.com - World of Shorts. Its main goal is to help film makers finding the right festivals for their projects according to a professional service provided by festival specialists as well as the feedback of the film makers' community. Daazo.com is a free-to-view VoD platform, where short film makers can showcase their films and a larger audience can meet works by fresh talents. Daazo approaches film makers in several ways, having more than 10.000 registered users and reaching more than 200.000 readers with their magazines yearly. This reach means a good basis to launch new services such as 'Festivalized', which target young talents in the film business, and a niche audience which considers itself cinephile. The main objective is to build an online-system handling all festival submissions and organizing the festival life of the film on a community base, thus providing an ultimate guide for the film makers and the audience, which festivals submit their works to, where film makers share their thoughts and feedback on events, where they can get connected to distributors and sales companies. The platform consists of two sections: a “pro” part - there for a certain fee each film gains festival & distribution strategies and submission management with a detailed statistics system, which can track how much money has been spent to submit films, how many awards, industry interests were gathered etc. Besides, there will be a community platform where users can give and get feedback on festivals and about their films for free. Festivals can be registered and promoted themselves; the main goal is to get credible, community-based information about them. Film makers can be registered as well, and besides giving feedback, they can share the festival appearances of their works. The two sections are combined, hence a big part of the meta-data comes from the “pro” part of the system. The platform section will have an open part being accessible for all film professionals containing a list of festivals, main information and some of the statistics.
»FRONT – Film Republic of Networked Theaters«.
A cinema digitalization network for Lithuanian film industries.
Based on pre-calculated data more than half of Lithuania's population doesn't have any access to cinema since all of the existing screens are concentrated in major Lithuanian cities (such as Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda). Over 90 per cent of the screens are owned by multiplex chains exhibiting mainstream, primarily Hollywood studio content. National and European films are fighting for screen time on equal basis with much heavier advertised American productions. Art-house films that need much longer time to collect substantial box office are taken from the repertoire after a two to three week run. Lack of technological investment in regional objects of cultural infrastructure reduces the possibility of development of various public services and activities, including film exhibition.
The idea behind the project is to create a regional digital cinemas network by utilizing the existing public infrastructure – the so-called “cultural houses” in the province – combining the European structural funding, private investment and know-how. The network would employ professional distributors and programmers being responsible for the repertoire, content would be selected according to the Europa Cinemas network guidelines.
Main goals of the project are:
- to digitalize 20-30 regional cinemas/cultural centers creating the opportunity for the audiences in periphery to familiarize themselves with the works of Lithuanian and European film makers
- to guarantee the most effective spread of European and national cinema
- to create a centralized distribution system, capable to ensemble and constantly update the film catalogue, and in 3 years’ time to become a self-sustaining eco-system increasing the spread of national and European cinema and the national box office by 25 percent
- to launch and maintain technical and film distribution training for the employees of regional cinemas / cultural centers, educating their ability to form the repertoire, attract and develop the audiences, so that in long-term perspective these cinemas could function in a self-dependent effective manner
- to create new jobs and strengthen local communities, promote youth employment and improve their leisure
- to become members of the Europa Cinemas network
»Cluj Film Fund«.
A film fund with which Cluj-Napoca intends to re-open its doors to the film world and recreate a film production center around the city.
Film production has been part of Cluj-Napoca’s history for more than 100 years. Making Cluj-Napoca another pole of film industry in Romania is the main idea behind this project. Between 2000 and 2004, Romania was the only European country that was constantly awarded in the most important film festivals in the world (EFA, Cannes, Berlin etc.). The Romanian film industry developed impressively over the last years, fueled by international recognition, awards, international sales and business brought to Romania by various producers. The decrease in film funding, the lack of a fiscal stimulation process, doubled by the distressing situation of movie theaters led to the idleness of the national industry. Cluj-Napoca is one of the most important cities in Romania, because of its strategic setting - in the heart of Transylvania, close to the Hungarian border – but also because of the ethnic blend of Romanian, Hungarian and German populations. It is one of the most socially and culturally developed cities in Romania with great perspectives of becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2021. Of the 400.000 inhabitants, over 150.000 are students of the two major universities: both universities have film schools lecturing in directing, acting and film criticism. Since 2002, Cluj is the home of the biggest international film festival in Romania, Transylvania International Film Festival, TIFF. Accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations in 2010, the festival is presently a key promoter of Romanian cinematography and the European film industry. TIFF means over 400 films, 250 screenings, 67,000 sold tickets and a mix of social and cultural events that transform and bring the city to life in the beginning of every June. Starting with 2013, Cluj-Napoca City Hall adopted a new development strategy of the city for the following seven years. Together with local experts (producers, professors, directors, other industry people) the conclusion was reached that setting up the first local film fund in Romania became a necessity. Cluj Film Fund intends to finance in the first years, short films and documentaries and one or two feature films, trusting in the future to increase the Fund by appealing to regional institutions and private companies. The Fund’s strategy is firstly targeting the development of a local and regional film industry and of a labor market made of local professionals. Secondly, the Fund will evolve, given the touristic and economic aspects, into the core of the other pole of the movie industry in Romania. In addition to these local and national objectives, the Fund is determined to attract international film business and become a viable alternative for European co-productions.
»What I See – Programme for Audience Development and Stimulation of Critical Approach in the Field of Audio Visual Culture and Arts«.
What we see is what we are: A film education project for Serbian schools.
Principal objectives of the audience development program «What I See» are the stimulation of critical opinion in the field of audiovisual culture and arts to gain basic knowledge and raise awareness towards national and world film heritage. «What I See» aims to stress the importance of linking film art and other arts, sciences and work, thus motivating the general public to contribute to cultural and aesthetic styles of living in their environment. Educational programs, as a main part of the project, are divided according to age: children in preschool (from age 5 – 6), children in elementary school (from age 7 – 15), children in high school (from age 15 – 19). The audience development program itself consists of three segments: theoretical lectures as a base, screenings of audiovisual content (film, TV, video art) with a special focus on stimulating critical opinion as well as practical work adjusted to the age and profile of each student. «What I See» will be implemented during the school year 2014/2015 as a pilot test version. The plan is that the project, in the form of its sections, grows year after year and that in the near future (period of 10 years) covers the whole territory of Serbia. In case of success up to 14,000 children and young people in Serbia will receive education in the field of audiovisual culture. In the long term the program plans to serve the Ministry of Education in terms of implementing audiovisual culture in schools as part of the regular curriculum, in high schools as an optional subject and in preschools and elementary schools in the form of sections.
»Octapus – A delicious new way to watch Greek films«.
A Greek VoD platform for local films.
Angeliki Vergou (Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Crossroads Co-production Forum Coordinator), Liza Linardou (Greek Film Center representative, department of Promotion and Festivals Coordinator) and Yianna Sarri (Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Head of Agora Film Market) aim to launch a VoD platform exclusively for Greek art-house Films (feature fiction, documentaries and short films) for the public,
initiated in Greece - with the final aim to make it accessible within Europe and worldwide. In spite of the relatively big demand by the cinephile audience, Greek Films are not easily accessible beyond the festival circuit. So, the main vision behind the project is to offer accessibility and educate the Greek audience regarding Greek art-house films. Once a Greek film is released in theaters, it rather rarely makes a revenue, gets out of movie theaters in a week, even despite having travelled in various international film festivals and/or won awards. With new technologies and easy access to the internet, more and more people prefer to have their films in their own private screens - may it be an iPad, a laptop, a PC or all of the above connected to their new LED TV screen. The project will include working with Greek distributors, producers and filmmakers to make the best strategic moves regarding their films. In the long run the project initiators intend to work with foreign institutions and organizations to broaden the platform’s accessibility and make the Greek art-house film (new or old, short or long, fiction or documentary) available to whoever is interested, easily and safely.
»DDS – Digital Database of Slovakia: Your Personal Online Library of Everything Slovakia can Provide«.
An online database for Slovakia as film nation.
The project aim's is to create a digital library of locations accessible for film (audiovisual) projects in Slovakia. DDS will provide complete services connected to film locations primarily for foreign film productions. The project intends to support film industry in Slovakia bringing in foreign productions and employing local professionals. DDS wants to create new jobs for local filmmakers, not functioning as a film commission, but as a private company providing film location services. The database takes care of complete services regarding locations (database, necessary information, infrastructure and safety), film funding, law services, tax information and rebate possibilities in Slovakia. Cooperating with film studios suggests strong aiming on exterior locations. Slovakia has huge film potential in castles, mountains, lakes, villages or forests. Secondary use of the project should be as a database of Slovak locations for public purposes. Public database should be mainly used for tourists and is planned to be also an ethnological tool for publication of results of research on different regional traditions and lifestyle. The ethnological input can, for instance, provide craft database about traditional local carpenters, tailors, etc. This element of database can, in longer terms, enrich the film database as well.
»Directors Collection«. A b2b platform which connects producers/worldsales directly with national cinemas around Europe and provides a transparent system for licensor and licensee.
In recent years, a new film genre was created: the festival film - professionally made, award winning films which are screened on a large number of festivals. However, they do not find their way into international markets - often not even into their own national market. Investment seems too high for distributors, therefore often for world sales agencies as well. Yet, there is an audience in Europe which is interested in those films, and there are cinemas keen on running them. The Directors Collection is a two part online platform, designed to fill the above-mentioned gap:
The first part is a b2b platform which connects producers (and/or world sales) directly with cinemas across Europe. It provides a complete and transparent system for licensor (producers and/or world sales) and licensee (cinemas). The second part is a b2c platform which connects producers (and/or world sales) directly with the audience. It provides a curated high-quality transactional video-on-demand platform for the above-mentioned films, starting within the German market and with the possibility to expand throughout Europe. Directors Collection will support access to quality films and develop niche audiences with the key objective to strengthen the circulation of non-mainstream films throughout Europe.